A Mexican drug cartel reportedly placed a $45 million bounty on Texas Gov. Rick Perry, prompting heavy security around the governor, a political insider said.
The insider, who is deep within Republican politics, said an unusual number of black-clad, heavily armed state troopers are escorting Perry to speeches and other public events, such as a recent dinner in South Carolina.
“My state representative was just at a dinner honoring Gov. Perry and observed an unusual amount of security, so [he] asked around and found Perry has a $45 million bounty on his head from [a] Mexican cartel,” he said. “They have been trying to keep it quiet for obvious reasons, but the security is humongous.”
When reached for comment, Perry’s press secretary, Lucy Nashed, confirmed the dinner but referred security questions to the Texas Department of Public Safety, which when contacted refused to give “specifics.”
Cartels placed several multi-million dollar bounties on Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio over the past several years and they also routinely set bounties on Border Patrol agents ranging from $250,000 to $2 million.
Perry previously called the cartels and drug gangs “narco-terrorists” in a 2011 speech.
“What we are seeing south of our border is nothing short of a war being waged by these narco-terrorists,” Perry told the audience. “They represent a clear and a present danger.”
In response, he spearheaded a rapid deployment of state law enforcement agencies to the border, which filled the gaps left by the Border Patrol after the White House ordered the agency to stand down from enforcing immigration and trafficking laws.
State troopers in particular heavily outnumbered the Border Patrol agents seen in and around a border highway in Texas this past summer when the U.S. was hit with a surge of illegal immigrants.
Perry even deployed National Guard troops to the border.
“As the Border Patrol is spread even thinner and thinner with this high influx of the illegal aliens, the gaps in the border have become bigger and you now are the tip of the spear protecting Americans from these cartels and gangs,” he told troops in Bastrop, Texas.
So while the feds backed off, the state of Texas stepped in, so it’s plausible a cartel has placed a price on Perry’s head.